The Best White Cake Recipe {Ever}

Okay, you asked for it. I’ve gotten so many emails and comments asking for “The Best White Cake Recipe” since I posted my The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe {Ever} a while back. Believe me, I wasn’t ignoring you.

White Cake Recipe | ©addapinch.com

You see, I had my Grandmother’s recipe for a Vanilla Cake and I had the recipe for my Butter Cake, so, I started working on trying to take the best of those two recipes while making the cake decidedly white and perfect for birthdays, anniversaries, and yep, even weddings, if you’d like.

 

My son declared this white cake recipe as “perfect” while the Mister said, “Now, that’s cake.”

Umm, from him, that’s a good thing. I think.

My brother-in-law called me to tell me that this was to be his birthday cake every single year until the year he dies. We had a good laugh at that one, but I have to remember each June to make sure not to make him another version of cake on his birthday from this point forward. That’s pressure, because the older I get, the less I seem to remember. Heh.

My white cake recipe is a sturdy recipe. Tender, yet moist and holds together well from cooling to frosting to slicing and serving. It just works.

While many white cake recipes use only egg whites, I decided (after lots and lots of trying, mind you) that I preferred the flavor that the whole egg lends to the cake. While the cake isn’t stark white, it is still white.

Make sense?

 

White Cake Recipe | ©addapinch.com

 

I used my Fluffy White Buttercream frosting, which I doubled, when I frosted the cake, but you can really use whatever frosting is your favorite on this cake. Strawberry Buttercream Frosting, Cream Cheese Frosting, Espresso Chocolate Buttercream Frosting? Any would be fabulous!

So, the next time you need a white cake recipe, give this one a try. I think you’ll love it!

Here’s my White Cake Recipe. My family calls it the best. Ever.

4.4 from 568 reviews
The Best White Cake Recipe {ever}
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This White Cake Recipe will quickly become your favorite for so many celebrations and events. This simple white cake recipe is easy to follow and yields a moist, tender white cake you'll love.
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup whole milk, room temperature
  • ½ cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare three 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick baking spray or coated well with shortening or butter and floured, taking care to remove all excess flour.
  2. Cream together butter and shortening until light and fluffy with an electric mixer. Slowly add sugar one cup at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each cup before adding another. Add eggs one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each egg before adding another.
  3. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour milks and vanilla into measuring cup and whisk together with a fork. Add to butter and shortening mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
  4. Gently stir all ingredients until well combined. Stop mixer and scrape down sides and bottom of bowl, making sure to have all ingredients mixed well.
  5. Evenly distribute cake batter between cake pans and place pans into oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool slightly in cake pans for about 5 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. Frost cake as desired.
Notes
Some people have had problems with the cake not rising. Try creaming the butter shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Don't over beat when adding eggs and other ingredients, just mix gently until incorporated well into batter.
-This recipe makes approximately 24 cupcakes when cupcake tin is filled more than ¾ full. When filled ½ full, this recipe makes approximately 36 cupcakes. Bake approximately 18 minutes.
- If you preferred the original white cake recipe, it used ½ teaspoon baking powder and 1 cup buttermilk with no whole milk.
- If you live in a high altitude environment, you'll need to make sure to follow recommended baking adjustments for your altitude.

 

Here’s to good cake! Love ya bunches!
Robyn xo

I thought I would copy this comment from The Pastry Life, comment #1062 to this area of the post as it might be helpful to you.

“Hi there, I am a pastry chef and have lots of knowledge of cakes, and why they do the funny things that they do. Let me start of by saying this cake is delicious, moist and fluffy! This is thanks to the seemingly large amount of sugar and fats, so do not reduce the amounts or make substitutions! If you’re that concerned about the healthiness of this cake, you should probably just avoid it.

This cake does not rise much, but that does not negatively affect its fluffiness. I followed the directions exactly, except for one very important step which I believe is why my cake is so fluffy inside and did not sink. Cream your butter, shortening and sugar altogether until very white and fluffy (about 4 minutes). After that, follow the instructions to a T. If you overbeat after adding the eggs, they will produce a tougher cake. Take extra care while rotating pans as to not deflate the cakes, and resist the urge to open your oven door to peek except when you need to rotate.

This cake does form a bit of a crust on top from the high egg and sugar content, which makes it more difficult to tell when it is done. Your best hint is your nose. If you can smell cake, then check it! If its not jiggly, take it out and scoop a little bit out of the middle to see if it’s done (you’re gonna cover it with frosting anyway). Don’t trust the toothpick-test!

Sorry for writing a novel, I just know how hard it is to make a great white cake and this recipe is probably the best I’ve had yet, so it made me sad to see how many people were disappointed by it due to their lack of pastry knowledge and proper method.”

 

2,533 comments on “The Best White Cake Recipe {Ever}”

  1. What would the cooking time been for a 9×13 in pan

  2. I have been on a paleo diet and haven’t been baking much in the last couple of years, and I couldn’t wait to make this cake. Sadly, it did not turn out at all. All three layers completely sunk and then broke coming out of the pan. And as if all that wasn’t enough, the cake was the color of cornbread. I have reviewed my steps, ingredients and measurements over and over and have no idea what I did wrong. It tastes delicious, so I guess I will serve it with fresh fruit and keep moving. Maybe I’ll try it again sometime.

    • Wait! I think it might have been the size of my eggs I used? They were jumbo. 🙁

      • Hi Stacy,
        Yes – It could have impacted the results of the cake. Also, if you made any substitutions or reduced the sugar it can make a difference in the outcome of this cake. I’ve included some tips just after the recipe from a pastry chef that makes this cake in his bakery. I hope my post and those tips may help you discover what could have happened – and that you enjoy the cake if you give it another try! Thanks!

    • When I did it, the cake turned out absolutely perfect! Maybe you should whisk it more.

  3. Super heavy cake. Not light and fluffy.

  4. I see several comments asking about pan adjustment, have you used any other size pan and do you have recommendations about it. I am using 2 -10″ pans and 2-8″ pans for a baby reveal party and barely frosted. Any suggestions?

  5. Hello I’m so interested in making this cake, just a quick question with regards to buttermilk …. I can only find the low fat one in the stores… can I make my own with milk and vinegar? Thank you x

  6. What is the difference between the posted recipe versus the original recipe with a full cup of buttermilk? Is th cal more dense, or is it tangy-er? Just curious, before I try it.

  7. I’m not sure if anyone else has asked these questions, but firstly, you say it is a sturdy cake. Enough to be the base of a small wedding cake? And also, do you happen to know what this recipe is in weight as opposed to capacity? In the Uk we rarely use cups etc.

    thank you 🙂

  8. Alright. I made this cake for my mom for her birthday, as she’s a white cake & buttercream frosting fanatic. And yes, I made it a 3-layer. I followed the recipe exactly, except for the part where I forgot to put the vanilla into the cake batter. I realized it once they’d been in the oven for ten minutes. I tried to compensate by using 5 tbsp of vanilla in the doubled “classic vanilla buttercream frosting” recipe. Somehow, my Mom couldn’t tell. I told her I’d made a mistake, and she had no idea. So hurray! She loved the cake, and I’m pretty sure froze what she didn’t eat the first couple days. I went a little heavy on the icing between the layers to try to maintain overall shape, which caused the layers to slide apart a bit, so use caution there. I also thought it tasted great! Follow the instructions about beating for several minutes, etc. It makes a big difference!

  9. I only have butter flavored shortening. Will this be a problem? Can’t wait to try this!

  10. This is the first time making this recipe, like most I tweek them a bit to make it mine, I used coconut oil instead of vegetable shortening, I added fresh cardamon, and unsweetened coconut, I did not have butter milk so I used plain yogurt .I also made a brown butter icing and chopped walnuts on top! C”est Manifique!!!!!

  11. I’ve seen the question asked previously but didn’t get a response. Have you tried the cake with a substitute for shortening? I live in Italy and we don’t have shortening. I’ve subbed it in other recipes and it works with some but not with others so, just hoping to know what may work before trial and error 🙂 Thank you!

    • Hi Kathy,
      If you don’t have shortening, you can substitute coconut oil. Hope you enjoy the cake! Thanks!

    • This cake tastes amazing. It was my go to review for quite a while. I’ve noticed that it no longer ‘works’. I thought it was my oven, but I’m baking at my daughter’s home that has a completely different atmosphere and is a thousand miles away from mine and I’m having the same result. The cake looks beautiful the first half of baking, then it sinks. If there is a little that goes over the top of the cupcake pan, it is horribly stuck. That little bit has to be carved off in order to remove the cupcake. I’m still waiting for the cake panda to finish baking and I’m praying they turn out all right since they are for my daughter’s vow renewal ceremony tomorrow.

      Is it possible that the sugar ratio is to high?
      I really want to love this cake again.

      • I hate autocorrect!
        I meant to say that this was my go to recipe.
        and
        The cake pans are still baking.

        Sorry about that.

  12. I am making a cake for my daughters wedding. I have a huge bag of cake flour. Will that work or do I need to use all purpose?
    Thank you ! Cheryl

    • In UK cake flour is first choice when making cake. All purpose is only used in pastry or biscuit making. The cake turns out more fluffy and soft with cake flour. So I would go for that.

    • Hello,
      This recipe sounds great but I am not a fan of shortening, can I use all unsalted butter instead?
      Thank you.
      Kathy

      • I live overseas and don’t have shortening, but I love this recipe. I always sub coconut oil for the shortening if I have it, though I have even used vegetable oil in a pinch. I have a small oven, so I generally make half the recipe in a 9×9 square pan. It always comes out great!

  13. I made this cake and it’s the best cake ever! And I have tried at least 20 vanilla cake recipes. Is it possible to make this cake visually whiter? Is it ok to leave out the yolks?

    • Hi Rafiqa,
      I’m so glad you love the cake! Yes, it is my very favorite as well. If you leave out the yolks, it definitely changes the flavor (and the texture) of the cake.

  14. I followed all the directions and tips, but the cake fell in the middle.

    • Given the correct recipe ingredients, cakes sink in the middle or getting dry is usually due to 1. Expired or bad baking powder or soda. 2 opening the oven door too early. 3. Leaving the cake batter sitting too long in the counter before putting it in the oven.
      I’ve used this recipe before and it turned out great.

  15. I am planning on making this cake in a couple of days for my niece’s 16th birthday. Has anyone made this in a 9×13 aluminum baking pan? Are any modifications required in regard to time and/or temp?

  16. Hi, if i wanted to make this into a funfetti cake can I just add the sprinkles?

  17. Can this recipe be halved?
    5 eggs halved would be how much? More yolks or more whites?
    Ps: recipe was a banging success :*

  18. While the flavor of the cake is good, it is very dense. Thick and heavy. Way too sweet when paired with buttercream frosting. Almost pound cake like. Reminded me of a cotton candy flavor. And I followed recipe to a tee. Not at all like a traditional white cake. I feel like it should be made only in loaf pans. But flavor was good. If you’re looking for a very very sweet cake, this is it.

    • I’m sorry you did not enjoy the cake, Jesse. You are correct, this is a dense cake – I think I may mention that in the post. It doesn’t need to made in loaf pans. Hope you enjoy other recipes if you give them a try. Thanks Jesse.

      • I do want to try to make this cake again. It was easy to frost with buttercream. But like I mentioned, very sweet. Is it possible to reduce the sugar by half a cup ?or even a full cup reduction ?

  19. I have been baking this cake for about a year now, and the reactions I get from people when they try their first bite are always the same. “This is the best cake I’ve ever had in my life”

    I love this recipe so much and I just wanted to say thank you for it!

  20. This cake had good flavor but it was a little dry and crumbly. We froze it before frosting it so I don’t know if that affected it

    • Hi Gail,
      I’m so sorry your cake was dry. I’ve never had that problem. I’m trying to think what could have happened – was the cake wrapped airtight/kept in an airtight container while in the freezer? Thanks Gail!

  21. Hi is there any way i can make this cake with oil instead of butter? I’m not fond of butter cakes as i find them dense

  22. I usually use cake flour, what that work ? Or what brand all purpose do you use ? Thanks

    • Hi Stephie,
      You can use cake flour if you wish – I use White Lily flour because I love the results it gives for cakes and baked goods.
      Hope you enjoy the cake! Thanks! xo

  23. Hi Robyn, is this cake still moist the day after and can it be refrigerated (ie does refrigeratoration dry out the cake)? Thanks!

  24. Hello. how many eggs do we need here? It’s not in the recipe. thanks 🙂

    • Hi Rochelle,
      You use 5 eggs – it’s the 4th item listed in the recipe. I hope you enjoy the cake! I have several helpful tips in my post about baking this cake. Thanks!

      • I’ve made this cake 3 times and WOWZAAAAAA THIS IS THE BEST TASTING CAKE EVER. But I’m having a big problem with it. Everytime I bake it it practually bonds to the baking dish or cupcake liners. I don’t bake a ton but I do bake regualarly and I’ve never had a problem like this before. Idk maybe I’m more of a novice baker than I realized and I’m doing something stupid but I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong.

      • Hi Jordan!
        I’m so happy you enjoy the cake! We are really fond of it in my house too!
        I’m not sure why it’s sticking – here’s a couple of things you could check:
        -Check to make sure you are preparing your pans/liners well (butter or spraying etc) before baking
        -Make sure you are only leaving in pan to cool for the recommended time in recipe instructions, then move to a rack to finish cooling. Leaving in pan to cool the entire time can cause to sweat and stick sometimes.
        I hope this helps. I’m so glad you enjoy it! Thanks!

  25. This cake was AMAZING. This is exactly what I was looking for to change things up for a Thanksgiving dessert. This replicated my craving for this amazing, dense, delicious cake I get at this bakery when I go to LA- and this recipe nailed it. I will definitely be making this again.

  26. I need to make a double layer 13×9 in cake so i have two questions does this recipe work well in that size pan? Also, would i have to double this recipe to fit two 13x9in pan?

    • Hi Coco,
      I’ve not made this cake in a 9×13 pan, but there are readers who’ve commented that they have and tell in the comments what they did. You would have to double the recipe for two 9×13 pans.
      I hope this helps and that you enjoy the cake.
      There are also tips from a professional baker that makes this cake in his business just above the comments. Thanks!

  27. did the cake rise as shown in the pictures..//// please answer???

  28. Hi!! I made this cake yesterday with a chocolate expresso filling and a cinnamon swiss merengue frosting and it was amazing, the cake was perfectly moist and fluffy, this is my favorite vanilla cake recipe ever!! thank you so much

  29. This is easily the best cake out there…I actually made it for my wedding and its become FAMOUS amongst my family.
    Converts nicely to cupcakes as well.

    • Oh Kate! This makes me so happy that this cake was such a special part of your life! It is one of our family favorites and we love the cupcakes too! Thank you so much for sharing this with me! xo

  30. My 3 layers all stuck to pans even though they were well sprayed. I’ve done this cake before with great results.
    What could have happened

    • Hi Lucie,
      I’m sorry the cake stuck. Is it possible that the cake stayed in the pans a little longer than the recipe instructions before they were moved to the cooling rack? Sometimes they will stick if they stay in the pans too long while cooling. I hope this helps. Thanks!

  31. Thank you so much for this recipe. I made it for my Mom and she loved it. So, so very delicious!!! This is my go to recipe for a wonderful , ahem, the best white cake ever. Again, thanks for sharing!!
    J. Green
    Shreveport, LA

  32. Hello!! Do you think I could add chocolate chips to the batter? Would that ruin the cake?

  33. This cake IS the best white cake ever. Made it for Christmas this year and received rave reviews. Definitely a keeper. Thank you!

  34. Can you convert this three layer recipe to a 13X9 pan?

  35. This cake was super hard for me to work with. It would not later and kept crumbling! It tastes awesome though so I am going to try to make cake pops with it.

    • I’m sorry it wasn’t working for you, Isabella. I make it often and have not had this problem.
      There could be many different reasons it didn’t turn out as it should have and I can’t be sure what happened. There is a very helpful comment from a professional baker who uses my recipe in his bakery. I’ve shared his tips just after the recipe and ahead of the other comments. There may also be some helpful information in the blog post as well. I hope some of this helps and you find success when you make the cake next time. Thanks so much!

  36. THis lookes delicious….i have a question to ask, though! I am making a rainbow cake for my daughter’s birthday in a few days, and i want to make 6 thinner cakes so i can color each separately with food coloring. Do you think i could do this with this recipe? What do you think the cooking time would be with half the amount of batter in each pan?

  37. I am obsessed with this cake – it tastes like a giant sugar cookie and everyone I make it for, raves about it. It is officially my go-to cake recipe.

  38. This cake is AMAZING!! I made it for my sons first birthday cake and it’s so light and fluffy and the perfect amount of sweet. It was really easy to make as well. I am really impressed

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Gabby! We love it in my family as well!
      That first birthday is such a special time – so honored you made this cake and liked it so well!
      Thanks so much! xo

  39. The taste is fantastic! It’s not exactly the light and fluffy cake I thought I was after (still very light but a bit dense) but the flavor is just sooooooo good.

    Issues I had: I followed the recipe to a T (added creaming the sugar/fats). My cake did rise quite a bit (almost doubled in height) and I’m wondering why. Also, mine came out with a crust on it. The crust is delicious but I was wondering if it’s supposed to be like that or if I baked it too long? When it got close to being done, I checked it every couple of minutes to make sure I didn’t overcook it.

    Thanks!

    • Hi Vanessa,
      I’m glad you enjoyed it! It does have a bit of a crust and will rise. That and some more tips about this cake are also included in the blog post that may help. Thanks so much!

  40. Ooo, one more thing. I would really call this a vanilla cake. It’s quite yellow because of all the eggs. If you are after something more white, look for a recipe with fewer yolks.

    • Hi Vanessa,
      You do want to mix the mixture for the time noted in the recipe instructions as that lightens the batter. Here is what I say in the blog post…”While many white cake recipes use only egg whites, I decided (after lots and lots of trying, mind you) that I preferred the flavor that the whole egg lends to the cake. While the cake isn’t stark white, it is still white.”
      Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks!!!

  41. I only have two 9 inch cake pans. If I bake the cakes 2 at a time, and one cake at a time, how does the cook time change? Should I cook them for the same amount of time or change the temperature?

  42. I love this recipe and it is my go to cake , I of course tweeted it to suit my ingredients and switched the vegetable shortening to coconut oil, instead of whole milk I used regular 2% milk, because that’s what we usually buy, and I never find buttermilk in the store so I used 3.4% plain yogurt, the coconut makes it tastes soo good without overpowering the vanilla flavour! Cheers!

  43. I love this cake and refuse to give up until I get it perfect, but I can’t seem to get the bake time right. I’ve baked it twice and both times I have needed to leave it in for 40+ mins for the center to not be jiggly. I have double and triple checked my oven temperature as well as ingredients and directions. The cake keeps sinking in the middle, and the only reason I can think of is because I’m opening the oven so frequently as has been previously suggested in the comments section. Any other ideas what could be going wrong? Thank you 

    Rating: 4

  44. Hi…if I was to substitute the shortening with coconut oil, would it be 1/2 cup of melted coconut oil?…also, do you discourage using all purpose flour instead of cake flour?

  45. I did NOT do this completely right, and it was the BEST cake I have ever EVER had!!! Oh my gosh…… I’m making it tomorrow for my daughter’s 1st birthday party. So excited. I made this with your classic buttercream recipe.

    Rating: 5

  46. Best cake ever. I started making this cake several years ago. The first time was for my husbands birthday, as he is not a fan of chocolate cake at all. I found this online and it was perfect! He loved it and so do all of my children! They call it Mom’s Sugar Cookie Cake. I am making it again, today, January 16th for my daughters 15th birthday, by request. Thank you so much for the recipe! Delicious!

    Rating: 5
    • I love that name your children have given the cake, Sarah! I’m so happy you all enjoy it too! It’s a special cake in our family so I’m thrilled that it is for you all too! Happy birthday to your daughter!!! Thanks so much for the wonderful, sweet comment! xo

  47. Hello, I can not wait to prepare this recipe it looks very delicious, I need your help to know the ingredients in grams, and the liquids in milliliters. Oh and the size of the eggs about .Please. I would appreciate it very much

  48. Hi Robyn,
    Is this White Cake freezer friendly??
    Thanks!

    • Yes, it freezes just fine Courtney. Here are tips for freezing it:

      Let the baked cake layers cool completely. Wrap them well with plastic wrap and then with foil. Put each layer into a freezer bag and freeze up to 2 months. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, the layers are ready to fill and frost. I hope you enjoy it!

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